Most of us know about teaching short and long vowel sounds, but what about r-controlled vowels?

A r-controlled vowel is a vowel followed by the letter r,  and the vowel does not make a short or a long vowel sound.

When you have a student who is decoding based on phonics, you quickly learn that these words are tricky, and need to be taught.

Some examples of this vowel pattern are:

/ar/:  arm, barn, car, smart, shark, park

/ir/:  bird, fir, girl, skirt, sir, stir

/or/:  born, for, inform, north, short, order

/ur/:  curve, hurt, nurse, surf, turn, purple

Teach students about r-controlled vowels, and the influence the r has on the vowel. This can be done through teaching spelling patterns and word lists.